Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
...But before all those critics gleefully start putting together their “Bon Voyage Bryan” placards in the hopes of his eventual departure, he had a strong message for the fans when he emerged from the dressing room after the Maple Leafs’ 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers last night.
“I want to stay. I signed here and chose to stay here because this is where I want to be. I think there would be nothing better than to bring a championship to this city,” he said.
“There are no guarantees, but I don’t want to move. My wife is seven months pregnant. We don’t want to go anywhere.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail, .
..Still, Fletcher has not yet been told no definitively. And Sundin at least acknowledges he is still wrestling with a final decision.
“I have some things to think about, some things to sort out,” he told Hockey Night interviewer Elliotte Friedman.
Then, in the Leaf dressing room, he faced another large media scrum.
“No matter what happens, I’ll always love Toronto and I’m going to love the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Sundin said. “It’s been home for the last 13 years and that’s never going to change.
“I hope people respect whatever decision is going to come out of this.”
Sundin spoke to the media at Saturday’s morning skate and admitted that interim GM Cliff Fletcher had asked him to waive his clause, allowing the club to pursue a trade.
‘‘The Leafs gave me a chance to think about it and all that but as I said my position hasn’t changed since the start of the year.
‘‘I have to do what feels right in my heart. I just don’t think I can go to another team if I don’t want to play for another team. That wouldn’t be right to myself. That’s how I feel right now.’‘
added 1:35pm, More on this from Paul Hunter ant the Toronto Star.
Cliff Fletcher is on 640am in Toronto and says he talked to Sundin’s agent today, J.P. Barry and mentioned he is just waiting for a response back from him.
He did say Mats has not waived his NTC and talk is pretty slow right now around the league. Fletcher has other issues to deal with and will try to work on those.
Mats Sundin has stated he does not want to leave Toronto, over and over again. So why this?
from Darren Drager of TSN,
Sources tell TSN that Toronto Maple Leafs interim general manager Cliff Fletcher and captain Mats Sundin met on Thursday to discuss his future with the team.
It’s believed Fletcher asked Sundin for a list of teams he would consider playing for, although the Leafs GM stopped short of officially asking him to waive his no-trade clause.
from Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun,
When the Maple Leafs missed the playoffs last year it was the closest thing to a national disaster to hit Toronto since Mel Lastman spotted a snowflake over North York.
But even that does not come close to the travesty and abuse of a public trust being perpetrated by this season’s Maple Leafs, who are closing in on becoming the first NHL team in Toronto to miss the playoffs three consecutive years since 1927-28.
How embarrassing was that? Don’t know, but they changed the name from St. Patrick’s to Maple Leafs. These days fans just walk around with paper bags on their heads.
from Spector’s Blog,
...But apparently for Sundin, playing for a Cup contender isn’t as important as being a Maple Leaf.
One would think he would be applauded for his loyalty, instead, he’s being criticized and vilified by some pundits and fans.
His critics suggest he’s merely being selfish for not agreeing to a trade, that he’s not putting the needs of the Leafs above his own, that he’s seriously hurting the franchise’s attempt for a strong start to their rebuilding program.
His refusal is being considered a prime example of how a player with a “no-trade/movement” clause can hold a team hostage and handcuff their efforts to rebuild.
from the Toronto Sun,
With defenceman Tomas Kaberle insisting he is not going anywhere, echoing the same sentiments as the other four members of the Maple Leafs “no-trade clause” fraternity, Antropov might very well be the most legitimate candidate to be moved by the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
In the prime of his career at age 28, Antropov’s value never has been higher. He’s managed to stickhandle his way around the injury bug for a change while reaching a career-high 21 goals, attractive traits for teams in the market for a hulking power forward.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
At some point between now and next Tuesday, Maple Leafs interim GM Cliff Fletcher will go to captain Mats Sundin on bended knee and ask him in the nicest possible way to waive his no-trade clause so Toronto can begin the long task of rebuilding its rotted vessel.
No one knows what Sundin will say when this offer is presented to him, but the Leafs’ course of action should be very clear if he maintains his stated position that he has no intention of leaving Toronto.
First, Fletcher should immediately strip Sundin of the captain’s “C”. Then, Fletcher should make it very clear he will not re-sign the unrestricted free agent this summer or strongly recommend to the next full-time GM that Sundin not be re-signed.
After all, what kind of role model is Sundin if he refuses to commit the ultimate act of leadership by helping the team he professes to love get better?
from Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun,
Vesa Toskala says he’s “comfortable” playing the rest of the season. Of course, when he was losing 7-1 to Washington and platooning with Andrew Raycroft he said he was “comfortable” too. He leaves the impression someone could put him on a bed of nails and, if there was a reporter around, he’d give him a bemused grin and insist that he was, indeed, “comfortable.”
So, we’ll bite: Just how does a team keep its comfort zone when it can win three like Toronto did in January and move all the way up to 13th. Or beat Detroit, Montreal and Ottawa, and not gain an inch?
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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